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Tim Burton returns to the macabre stop-motion animation of The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) with this superior children's fantasy about love and decay. The characters are wonderfully grotesque—with stiletto noses, pencil limbs, and bulbous chins—and for voices Burton has rounded up all his favorites (Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Albert Finney, Christopher Lee). A young groom is diverted from his impending nuptials when he accidentally places a ring on the bony finger of a dead woman and finds himself whisked off to an underworld where animate corpses spend all eternity whooping it up. This may be light family entertainment, but it's also a pleasingly perverse celebration of Victorian morbidity. Mike Johnson codirected. PG, 76 min.

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